I exit Woodlake Avenune and turn onto Leonora. This is not my street anymore. It has not been my street since 1999 when we sold it for $380,000 in a bidding war between three people. It had stained glass windows we purchased from an antique dealer in Ventura. Before we moved I walked around with yellow Post-It notes and sketched out the details, the variations in glass textures between each leaden barrier. These summer nights make me miss being a kid, make me miss sleeping on the lawn chairs in the backyard, make me miss opening that narrow window above my bed when I got too hot in my sleep. The crickets chirp the same.
It is dark and the kitchen light is on. Everything looks so much smaller in scale, even from the street. Their garage door is open. They have a BMW. A few years ago I noticed they’d taken down the cabinet doors I had painted when we remodeled there. I was surprised it stayed up as long as it did; who wants to keep a sloppily executed heart, smiley face, and upsidedown peace sign above your washing machine anyway? When I was young and the house was less old there were a pair of child hand prints embedded in the cement of our driveway – remnants of another life, some other life. That, too, was demolished when we tore up the driveway in ’95.
I pass the house as slowly as I can within anti-stalker reason and then it’s gone. I drive past Van’s house and Robby’s house. I pass the house of Phil’s friend who came by and peed his pants watching Ghostbusters. He ran out the sliding glass door to the backyard and slipped down the side of the house, back to his own. I remember this charcoal pavement. I remember Halloween and hockey sticks, rollerblades and bike rides, my dog running down the street with her ears flopping behind her.
I round the corner and see the house that used to keep turkeys in a cage in the front yard. It’s must nicer now and the windows are bigger. I turn onto Mariano and drive past my god father’s house. This is where I would stay while my brother was in the hospital. He used to have a guest house with a train set in it and workout equipment in the courtyard. The whole family slept on waterbeds. He still lives there and drives the same cars.
A song comes on the radio. It played at a wedding when I was five. The bride’s brother let me dance on his shoes. God damn. This life is just like ash. It’s burning up and fading away and I am covered in remnants of who I used to be and it feels so far away.


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